The Building Community program brings together faculty, students, and community leaders (Advisory Board) to a year-long study of a social issue of great importance. The 2008/09 theme was "Health: Healthy Persons, Healthy Communities." The theme invited work on all forms of health for persons and groups with a range of health needs. By identifying social issues within our community, faculty and students who participated in service learning analyzed, researched, and worked together with community groups and assisted areas that benefited from a mutual effort.
The National Service Learning Clearinghouse explains that, "Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities." Service Learning programs are typically rooted in formal courses. Thus, the service activities are usually based on particular concepts that are being taught. In service based internship programs (service learning), students tend to spend time at an agency to learn about a particular career industry while applying their academic knowledge and professional skills to complete specific projects at the agency.
To begin the work of Building Community, Liberal Arts faculty members submit short proposals to the Engagement office and identify the courses in which community research and service learning can be conducted, describing the type of analysis that students will perform. The proposals provide a basis for discussing recommended actions, which can then direct service-learning courses the following semester.
The ideal Building Community program leads to external funding to sustain a college-wide program that can serve as a model to other universities that intend to implement engagement programs.
Spring 2010 Building Community Courses
AAS 37100 - Issues in African American Health
Titilayo A. Okoror, Assistant Professor, African American Studies
In this course, students receive instruction on health issues particular to the African American communities, providing them with a service learning opportunity. Funding will be used for a community health fair that will take place in the Black Culture Center (BCC) during Black History Month (February 2010). Students in AAS 371 will assist in publicizing the event, health fair displays, data collection on the success of the program, and as part of the final paper for the course, analysis and presentation of the data collected.
COM 32800 - Diversity at Work: A Rhetorical Approach
Robin Clair, Professor, Communication
Students will conduct research on ethnic restaurant entrepreneurs and the success of involvement in small business ventures vs. those who take on jobs working for others.
COM 35300 - Problems in Public Relations
Hyunyi Cho, Associate Professor, Communicaton
COM 35300 collaborated in Fall 2008 on a service learning project to develop communication plans to effectively reach Purdue students on campus regarding spring break sun safety and melanoma awareness, and an April event to promote melanoma awaremenss month in May. Students in the Spring 2010 course will work to further refine the previously developed plans and to implement them. They will design and print promotional materials and assist with the May event.
COM 40800/40900 - Fast Track Te Informa
Patricia Rochon, Clinical Assistant Professor of Digital Media, Communication
Cecilia Tenorio, Continuing Lecturer, School of Languages and Cultures
Students in COM 40800/40900, volunteers from Purdue faculty, staff and Ivy Tech are producing a 30-minute television show for the Spanish-speaking community of Greater Lafayette. The show features local, national, and international news, sports, and entertainment. Students will assist in production and marketing materials.
HK 32000 - Teaching Health in Elementary Schools
Kelley Baily, Continuing Lecturer, Health & Kinesiology
Adam Barry, Assistant Professor, Health & Kinesiology
This course is designed to provide pre-service elementary teachers the knowledge and requisite skills necessary to assist young people in developing preventive behaviors that forestall or prevent the onset of the disease process. The students will present a school-based health fair, develop health-based resource materials for teacher's instructional use, and develop informative materials for parents.
HK 62100 - Public Health Seminar
Roseanne M. Lyle, Professor, Health & Kinesiology
This course introduces students to core public health principles and functions and exposes students to a range of issues that public health practitioners and researchers contend with to effectively do their work. Students will meet with a lead practitioner in an organization of their choice to learn about the type of training required to work within the organization and to develop a short list and brief description of using unmet needs/projects. Each student will be expected to devote 20-25 hours over the semester to the effort to develop a plan of action which defines the parameters of the project including expected outcomes, methods of evaluation, and a timeline.
SPAN 30100/30200 - Spanish Service-Learning, Ayuda y Aprende
Julie Harrell, Continuing Lecturer, School of Languages and Cultures
This course is a volunteer program for students who want to improve their community of Purdue by teaching English, being role models, encouraging college attendance, teaching their culture, learning Spanish and the Hispanic cultures, and meeting others from different communities in order to improve their own.
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